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Hi. This is my first time ever posting on this site, though I've owned hedgies for several years, and have looked through the forums for advice numerous times, so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place or if I'm doing this all wrong. I just don't know what to do anymore.

My hedgie, Crowley, is just over a year old, and we got him when he was three months old. He's been a biter since day one. Because of this, it was quickly established that myself and my mother are the only ones who will hold him. My grandfather could not, as he was a hemophiliac and would bleed a lot when the hedgehog bit him, and my younger sister is still afraid of him because he bit her so many times.

But over the past few months it's become increasingly worse and the bites are becoming more frequent and severe.

I've done the shirt method, I spend extra time touching and messing with the linings for his cage before I put them in, make sure he always has food available, and hold him for at least 30 minutes every day. I wash my hands (with no soap) before I hold him every single time, but it never seems to make any difference. I've even tried varying the times I hold him as much as I can, but that doesn't change anything.

When he bites, I blow in his face like I was told to do, but it makes no difference. I know better than to pull away, as it only makes him bite harder, but pushing into it never seems to help any, he tightens the bite anyway. I don't want to hurt him, but I often end up at his mercy for when he decides he wants to let go. There doesn't seem to be any set trigger or cause for the bites either.

Just a few hours ago, he bit and latched onto my finger and would not let go. He clung onto it for the upwards of about 2 minutes, no matter what I did, and because of where he bit my finger was bleeding quite a bit, and is now extremely red and swollen.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I love him to death, and when he decides not to bite he's as sweet as can be, but I'm really the only one who will even try to hold him anymore, and I always have bruises or small cuts everywhere, because he breaks the skin more often than not. I've had two hedgies before him, and they bit at first, but not over the span of a year, and they certainly didn't get worse, they stopped once they were comfortable with me.

Is there anything I haven't tried that could help? Or is it just something I'm going to have to get used to and try more actively to avoid?
 

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http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...r/100362-so-your-hedgehog-biter-now-what.html

Having a biter sucks. Been there. Start with this sticky. I'm sure some of the info in there is familiar to you, but it never hurts to go over the basics again.

The first thing that sticks out to me is blowing in his face. Trust me, I learned this the hard (and painful!) way; it doesn't work. To him you're being aggressive so he's responding in kind. You really can't use negative reinforcement on a hedgehog. They just can't link the bad behavior and the punishment. I know it's immensely painful when they latch on and don't seem to want to let go, but I promise they always do.

Considering how long this has been going on, it may be easier to do fleece training. This is discussed briefly towards the bottom of the sticky. You'll need to search the forum for more information on it unless someone else is kind enough to link the thread. But do read the whole sticky and examine your situation again. We're here to answer additional questions too :)
 
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